HOLD FOR SWAYNE HALL — In this Friday, Oct. 6, 2017 photo, workers build an apartment and retail complex in Nashville, Tenn. On Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, the Commerce Department reports on U.S. construction spending in September. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending increased 0.3 percent in September, as the biggest advance in government building activity in four months offset weakness in other areas.
The Commerce Department says the September gain followed a tiny 0.1 percent rise in August and declines in June and July.
All of the strength came from a 2.6 percent increase in government construction. State and local activity grew 2.5 percent, and federal spending was up 3.4 percent.
Residential housing showed no increase, while non-residential construction dropped 0.8 percent, its fourth straight monthly decline.
The overall economy grew at a 3 percent annual rate in the third quarter despite a decline in residential construction for the second straight quarter. However, economists expect a strong labor market to support a rebound in housing in coming months.
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